The romantic lyricism of the great Persian poet Hafiz (1315-1390) continues to be admired around the world. Recent exploration of that lyricism by Iranian scholars has revealed that, in addition to his masterful use of poetic devices, Hafiz's verse is deeply steeped in the philosophy and symbolism of Persian love mysticism. This innovative volume discusses the aesthetic theories and mystical philosophy of the classical Persian love-lyric (ghazal) as particularly exemplified by Hafiz (who, along with Rumi and Sa'di, is Persia's most celebrated poet). For the first time in western literature, Hafiz's rhetoric of romance is situated within the broader context of what scholars refer to as 'Love Theory' in Arabic and Persian poetry in particular and Islamic literature more generally. Contributors from both the West and Iran conduct a major investigation of the love lyrics of Hafiz and of what they signified to that high culture and civilization which was devoted to the School of Love in medieval Persia. The volume will have strong appeal to scholars of the Middle East, medieval Islamic literature, and the history and culture of Iran.
Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry